The Healthy Mum Life.

I’m a firm believer that ‘healthy’ looks different in each individual. But when you’re a mum there are some stifling similarities…

Raising healthy, happy kids isn’t easy. In fact, one might liken it to pushing a wheelbarrow full of carrots up a giant hill of rolling hundreds and thousands. Things aren’t exactly geared in your favour.

So, what does it really look like? In my life, it goes a bit like this…

 

I have a fridge full of food and a constant pile of clothes in need of folding.

Apple cores and carrot tops are usually rotting underneath my car seat.

“Here you go, Hunny, have some fruit” is repeated 20 times at every kid’s party.

We go to the park when I feel like I am going nuts… so, like, twice a day.

Lolly bag tanties are inevitable. Breathe in. Breathe out.

“Is she allowed to eat this?” has become a question I am constantly answering… and justifying.

I spend ten times the amount of money on bread than most parents. But we eat ¼ the amount of it.

Bliss balls. A LOT of bliss balls.

I sneak home-made baby food INTO those supermarket pouches so my kid THINKS she’s eating packet food.

Avocado is on my shirt. Every. Single. Day.

My stove is filthy all the time. Except when Mum has been over. Then its immaculate for like, 15 minutes at least.

My child thinks that all ice cream is made from frozen fruit.

Exercise is scheduled around playschool and completed to the Moana soundtrack with chasey rounds and toddler lifts in between each set.

“Mum. Just BREATHE” has become my 4-year old’s response to being told off.

My husband comes home to ‘floor salad’ daily.

Chia seeds can be found on anything that has ever come out of my washing machine.

So, you see it’s not all smooth sailing. And I’m always reminding myself that I am creating values, memories and habits that will last a lifetime. The housework can wait.

Are you trying your best to raise healthy kids? What does this look like, for you? I’d love to hear your comments.

 

Love Simone xo

 

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You can’t Spoil a Child with Love.

I’ve been this mum. The mum with REALLY good intentions, who just wants what’s best. Exhausted and thinking on her feet. The mum with the clingy child, the ‘spoilt child’ having constant meltdowns.

I’ve felt every tear and every tantrum as a physical symptom. Another pick plucking at my heart string, screaming “SHIT MUUUUUM!”

I’ve been the one texting my friends, questioning my husband, asking everyone who would listen…

What’s wrong with her? What’s wrong with me?

And then I realised nothing was working. So now I’m trying the opposite…

An open letter to myself, and all the other conflicted mothers out there…

You Can spoil a child in many ways. But not with Love.

 

You can take away their connection to nature:

“Don’t go outside you’ll get dirty. It’s too cold. You’ll get sick!”

But playing outside in the dirt and fresh air with her sister? Boosting immunity… go you!

 

You can bribe them because you need them to ‘behave’:

“If you be good, You’ll get a treat”.

But it’s okay for them to make mistakes and you CAN guide them to do better next time.

 

You can turn them away when they’re pulling at your leg:

“Not now, Mummy is cooking”.

But letting them help with those grubby little hands will make them feel included.

 

You can teach them that their clothes are a big deal:

“Wear this dress! It’s pretty!”

But letting them choose would take the stress away from both of you.

 

You can tell them that their feelings are irrelevant:

“Stop CRYING!”

But when you sit with them while they cry and calm down together you model good behaviour, because, let’s face it, you’re mid-tanty too!

 

You can force them to be okay:

“You’re fine. It didn’t hurt. Don’t cry AGAIN.”

But another cuddle will reassure them that you love them, no matter what.

 

You can ignore your child pulling at your leg because she doesn’t need to be on your hip all the time.

“What do you want NOW?”

Love. Closeness. Connection. From their mum. No problem here!

 

So you see there are many ways to ‘spoil’ a child. But I refuse to believe that Love is one of them. Because at the end of the day, when the kids are in bed, do we ever really wish we were harder on them?

When did this stuff all become such a big deal? Who teaches us to question our natural instincts? And why do we care SO MUCH about the opinions of others when it comes to our own parenting?

I’d love your thoughts on this. Can you relate to any of these situations? Have you been through something similar? How did you break through it?

Love Simone x

Raspberry Cream Gummies

gummiesThese are slightly adapted from Sarah Wilson’s book ‘Simplicious’. So the recipe credit goes to her. You can play with the recipe yourself to taste. If you’re making these for a little person who is used to sweets then don’t be put off- you may need more sweetener. 

All gelatine is not created equal. As with your meat, humanly raised, grass fed and organic is always  best. This is the difference between these being ‘healthy’ and not so it’s worth it. I use ‘Great Lakes Gelatine’ powder. Good quality gelatine is used by many (in the whole-food world) for healing the intestinal wall and therefore strengthening immunity. 

The milk I have used is ‘coco quench’. This is actually a blend of coconut and rice milk. It’s sweeter and less rich / fatty than coconut milk. So could be lighter on the tummy.

You could swap the rice malt syrup for another kind of liquid sweetener e.g. honey or maple syrup but the colour and sweetness will vary. 

If I’m making this for home I’d use 1/2 Tb honey. If I’m making for friends kids who know what jelly or lollies are, I’d use 1 1/2-2Tb honey.

You can also swap the fruit out for other fruits etc. Make sure it’s tightly packed though. Keep in mind the sweeter the fruit you use, the less sweetener you’ll need. 

Sarah Wilson has a book on different flavoured gummies and a chapter devoted to them in ‘Simplicious’ as mentioned above. 

Raspberry and Cream Gummies

Raspberry layer

  • 4 Tb Gelatine Powder 
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup beetroot juice
  • 1/2+ Tb rice malt syrup / sweeter of choice (start low and add to taste)

Cream Layer

  • 3 1/2 -4 Tb Gelatine powder
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup of coco quench / other milk
  • 1/2+ Tb rice malt syrup (start low and add to taste)
  • 3-4 tsp / capsules of probiotics (optional)

 

Directions:

Raspberry Layer:

  • ‘Bloom’ the gelatine by stirring it into the cold water. It will go rubbery let it sit for 5 mins. 
  • Heat the raspberries on medium heat until soft and melting then add coconut water. When the mixture is liquid / almost boiling stir until fruit is dissolved. 
  • Pour mixture through a sieve to get the raspberry seeds out (optional). This is fiddly but may be worth it if your little one is fussy with getting things stuck in their teeth.
  • Return mixture to the pot (heat off). Stir in the syrup untill dissolved.
  • Add gelatine in slowly. I scraped the blob into the pot with a fork. You could break it up into pieces. Stir until dissolved.
  • Once dissolved pour into your favourite mould ( I used a silicone loaf mould) and pop in your freezer while you prepare the next layer. 

Cream Layer:

  • ‘Bloom’ the gelatine by stirring it into the cold water. It will go rubbery let it sit for 5 mins. 
  • Heat the milk on medium heat. When the mixture is almost boiling turn heat off and add the gelatine. Again, I scraped the blob into the pot with a fork. Stir until dissolved.
  • Leave it to cool then add the syrup and probiotics if you are using them. Stir until dissolved.
  • Check that your raspberry layer is firm then pour on top. Return to fridge to set. 
  • Once set you can cut into squares / shapes as desired.

 

 

 

Snickers Bar Slice.

Because you’re not you… when you’re pregnant AND hungry!

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Various healthy versions of this classic choccy bar have been everywhere on social media lately. Needless to say it twanged a craving in this pregnant belly! I can’t begin to emphasise how hungry this small human is making me. Not to mention that if I were to have a moment of weakness and actually purchase a chocolate bar, then snickers would be it! Hypothetically speaking, of course! 😉 So this makes a nice filling, nutritious treat for Bub and I to enjoy in small portions.

I promise you these delicious chunks of chocolatey, nougat flavoured, peanutty goodness taste as great as they look. I’ve purposely made them not too sweet as I don’t enjoy that sickly sweet flavour most raw desserts have to them. 

If you think this recipe looks great but will be too long and hard to make then please trust me… it’s MUCH easier than it looks! The best thing about raw desserts? You can’t burn them when your toddler wakes up half way through… Hurrah!

Raw Snickers Slice

Ingredients:

Base Layer:

  • 1/2 cup of raw buckwheat.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 cup of cacao.
  • 8 large dates.

Peanut layer:

  • 1/2 cup crunchy organic peanut butter (I used ‘ceres organics’ peanut butter).
  • 2 Tb Rice malt / maple syrup.

Nougat Layer:

  • 1 cup raw cashews.
  • 1/3 – 1/2 can coconut milk (start with 1/3. Add more depending on how well it processes. It should be smooth. 
  • 2 tsp rice malt / maple syrup.
  • 2tsp vanilla bean paste. 

(If you use vanilla powder / essence you may need more rice malt syrup).

Chocolate Layer:

  • 60g raw cacao butter 
  • 2Tb coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder  raw cacao powder (or to taste)
  • 1Tb maple syrup or rice malt syrup (maple mixes in nicer so that’s what I used)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Directions: 

Note: Soaking cashews overnight or in boiling water for 30 minutes prior gives a creamier consistency but isn’t essential if you have a powerful food processor.

Base: 

  • Process the buckwheat in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs.
  • Add in the cacao, dates and salt.
  • Process until mixture forms a crumbly texture.
  • Press into a loaf tin and place in freezer. 

Peanut Crunch:

  • Place peanut butter and rice malt syrup into the food processor and mix until combined. Don’t worry if it comes out a bit crumbly, this will depend on which peanut butter you buy. 
  • set aside or you can pour (or press) this mixture directly onto the base layer and return to the freezer. 

Nougat: 

  • Drain and roughly dry cashews with paper towel. 
  • Place in food processor and process on high, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl down every 20 seconds. Repeat until you reach a smooth and creamy texture. 
  • Add vanilla, coconut cream and rice malt syrup. 
  • Process on low, gradually increasing to high until all ingredients are mixed through. If its really thick or you’d like it to taste lighter then add the extra coconut milk. 
  • Set aside until chocolate is ready. 

Chocolate:

  • Ensure everything you use for the chocolate layer is completely dry. 
  • Gently melt the cacao butter and syrup together in a heat proof bowl, over a pot of warm water. Your stove should be on the lowest possible heat for this. 
  • Stir until cacao butter and syrup are melted together. 
  • Add vanilla, salt and cacao powder and whisk until combined.

Assembling: 

  • Press the peanut layer evenly on top of base layer from the freezer if you haven’t already done so.
  • Pour the nougat on top of the peanut layer. Smooth out evenly with a spatula.
  • Pour chocolate on top of nougat and move the tin from side to side until its spread evenly across the top or swirl it through the nougat layer.
  • Freeze overnight for best results. 
  • To cut bars, mark even lines on the top of your slice vertically with a sharp knife. then cut into each line gently, using a sawing motion. Return to freezer until serving.

*Note: You could also cut into tiny bite sized pieces if you’re serving it at parties, or to kids.

 

 

Christmas Salad.

xmas salad

This time of year can be exhausting. It’s life as usual with the added pressure of work deadlines, Christmas shopping and a lot of BBQs and get togethers with friends and family. 

“Bring a salad” seems to be the regular request at my friends and family BBQs. So last Christmas (yes, it’s taken me a year to blog it) I created this recipe for a bit of festive flair.

I hope you enjoy it!

PS I know it’s tempting to just throw on some lime juice, but try the pesto- Delish!

Christmas Salad

Ingredients: 

  • 2 big handfuls / ½ packet of rocket.
  • 1/2 cup toasted  Pecans (raw is fine if you don’t have time).
  • ½ a large, fresh, ripe pear.
  • Handful / 1/3 cup of dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds.
  • 1 Fennel (medium size but it’s not important). 
  • 1/3 cup of coconut flakes.

Directions: 

  • Place rocket in a bowl and toss through pear and fennel.
  • Dress mixture until leaves are covered.
  • Sprinkle coconut, pecans and cranberries on top.
  • Dress with 3 Tb lime juice or try my macadamia lime pesto… 

 

Macadamia Lime Pesto

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 2 limes (6-8 Tb to taste).
  • 1 tsp lime rind.
  • 1 handful or 1/3 cup of macadamias.
  • 1 tsp honey.
  • pinch salt.
  • 1 Tb coconut cream.
  • 30ml macadamia oil.
  • Pinch of paprika (Optional).

Directions:

  • Blend macadamias with oil.
  • Pour in 4Tb lime juice, add rind and continue blending until smooth.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients in and continue blending.
  • Consistency should be thick, smooth and creamy. 

*Mix 1 cup of cooked quinoa through to make it go further.

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Lime Parfaits

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If you’ve never actually made one of my recipes now is the time!

These are the perfect mix of fresh, zingy and naturally sweet. One of my favourite recipes so far and sure to be on my table after dinner when I’m entertaining this summer.

You could call them raw cheesecakes if you like, but then you’d expect them to taste like cheesecake. Which they don’t. These are even better than cheesecake! They are crunchy on the bottom and, when left out for just a minute, perfectly soft and icy in the centre. Hence I am self proclaiming them to be a parfait. 

Blueberries and lime are a perfect match for summer. The sweetness of the berries and tartness of fresh lime pair beautifully. No sugar needed! To prove it, here is a picture of a cute sugar free toddler attempting (successfully) to swipe what should have been my prime parfait for photographing… 

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*Sigh*…. so cute and so destructive.

I’ve used buckwheat for the base to add extra crunch. This is a great tip for anyone wanting to experiment with raw desserts who wants to get more bang for their buck. It works out way cheaper than nuts for a crunchy biscuity base.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this one. you could even try it out quickly on the kids, if you just make the top mixture and pop it in a bowl as ice cream.

The recipe below only makes 6 but you can multiply / divide as you wish. I just thought 6 is a nice number for a summer night dinner party and these are sure to be a hit at your next one!

Don’t forget to take a pic and #thelittlenourishingkitchen or share and like my page on Facebook. Enjoy!

Blueberry Lime Parfaits: (Makes 6)

Ingredients: 

Base…

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 100g pitted dates (about 2.5 dates).
  • 2 heaped Tb coconut oil.

Filling…

  • 200g Cashew nut butter (macadamia would work too). You can make your own using raw cashews or macadamias. 
  • 2 cups of frozen blueberries.
  • 3 Tb lime juice (from fresh limes- make sure they’re bright green and not starting to turn brown).
  • 160ml coconut cream (Not milk!). pick a good quality one. I used Nakula but Banaban is good too. Some cheap ones can leave a bit of an after taste as they are often on their way out and a bit rancid.

Method:

Base: 

  • Brush the inside of a 6 pan muffin tin with coconut oil and line with baking paper. This will make them easier to get out. If you have a silicone muffin tin then use that and ignore this step. 
  • Place the buckwheat and salt in a food processor and mill until it becomes fine (like almond meal). 
  • Add the dates and coconut oil and continue processing until well combined and sticky.
  • Divide it into 6 even portions and roll into balls. 
  • Press each ball firmly into the bottom of a 6 pan muffin tin, covering the bottom evenly. 
  • Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the filling. 

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Filling: 

  • If you need to make nut butter, do that first. Depending on your food processor you’ll need to grind your nuts until they’re all stuck to the side of the food processor. Stop and scrape down the sides then repeat. Do this until a smooth nut butter forms. Anywhere from 3-10 times, depending on your food processor. 
  • Place nut butter and berries in your food processor and grind on a low speed, gradually increasing to high, until a smooth creamy texture forms. You’ll need to stop a few times, scrape down the sides and repeat. 
  • Add lime and coconut cream and blend until well combined. 
  • Taste and add up to another 1 Tb of lime juice (I always add extra but it depends on your taste).
  • Pour mixture into muffin pans (on top of your prepared biscuit base). 
  • Top with blueberries and place in the freezer until solid. A good few hours should do it. 

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  • To serve, remove from freezer 15 minutes prior to eating.
  • Carefully run a small knife / mini spatular around the edge and lift them out (if using metal). If you’re using silicone then pop them out by pushing your fingers underneath.
  • Serve on its own, or with fresh berries and lime to garnish. 


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Warming Health Elixir

IMG_1746Cold and tired?

Bone broth, greens powders, african berries, exotic plants, fancy tea, green coffee? No thanks! I’ll just salvage what would’ve gone into my bin instead and keep my fifty bucks!

You heard it here first- There’s a new magical superfood health elixir in town and you’ve already got it in your fridge! You just won’t believe how great you feel after even a cup of this stuff. And you certainly won’t believe me when I tell you how to make it. Not only is it cheap, it’s practically free. I could even argue it costs you money not to make it!

It’s basically a tasty vegetable broth but makes for a great warming superfood drink to add to your day. I’d say you could replace your morning coffee with it, if I were trying to sell it to you, but I’m not. So just add it into your morning and see what a difference it makes! I get an instant lift from drinking this. My eyes and head feel clearer and my energy levels go up. It’s a great craving buster too.

I discovered this by accident one Saturday afternoon after unpacking my weekly vegetable shop. I looked around and the guilt hit me. So many organic vegetables. So much money! And so. much. waste! We don’t have a compost bin, chickens or rabbits. So what to do with all of the scraps?

It rarely occurs to people that vegetable scraps, are in fact edible. If we were in the wild, we’d be munching on everything… stalk, leaf, flower and all. But these days if its too brown, furry, hard or not as pretty as we’d like, it gets ditched. 

So here is my very own Superfood Vegetable Broth. Made from your veggie scraps. You can honestly throw in anything which is what I do every week. I keep a constant supply of nori and dried shiitake mushrooms in my pantry though, so they go in every week. Plus garlic and onions. This adds to the flavour and increases the nutrients for good immune function.

Could something so good for you really be this cheap and easy? Why don’t you give it a try and let me know? Here’s what mine looks like…

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Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: These are available from the asian section of most supermarkets or your local asian grocers.

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This one was packed full so the lid barely went on. But it all wilted down over time and turned out fine. 

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Superfood Veggie Broth

Ingredients:

It’s a bit of a gip to even write a recipe for this… You literally just put your vegetable scraps in a slow cooker and top it up with water. Leave it on for 12-24 hours on low. Drain and drink! Here’s a rough guide of what usually goes in mine though…

  • Stalk and leaves from broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Wilted herbs from last week; stick, root and stem included.
  • Ends of carrots and zucchini.
  • Top and middle of capsicums.
  • Old tomatoes or the tops of tomatoes for todays lunch / tonights dinner.
  • Ends / leftover dried pieces of fresh ginger, lemongrass or turmeric.
  • Wilted (not slimy) Kale or silver beet.
  • Last weeks old root vegetables e.g. potato, beetroot, turnip.
  • Outer cabbage leaves.

And each week I add…

  • At least 5 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 sheets of nori (dulse flakes or any seaweed will do).
  • 20-40g / half a packet (shown) of dried shiitake mushrooms (different to normal mushrooms and great for the immune system).
  • 1-2 onions.

Directions: 

  • Put all ingredients into your slow cooker.
  • Top with water and place the lid on.
  • Leave on low overnight or for 24 hours.
  • Drain and drink!

*Store in the fridge and reheat on the stove. Season with salt, pepper and spices if desired. 

UP FOR A CHALLENGE???

Drink one cup a day for a week and Facebook me your results!

PS If you don’t shop weekly then as you prep or store your veggies, put the scraps in a large bowl. Keep it in the fridge until you have enough for one batch.